|The Olympic Rings @ St. Pancras Station|
|myself @ the entrance to the Olympic Park|
I was really impressed with the Copper Box (inside and out), and full credit to the designers / architects who came up with it. There is not a bad seat in the house and the atmosphere and acoustics were superb. The seats we had were behind the far goal and about eight rows up.
Unusually for me I did not check how all four teams were doing in the tournament so far, but going into the games the world rankings of the four nations involved are as follows:
3 - Denmark; 6 - Sweden; 9 - Spain; 11 - Norway
On this evidence I predictably came to the conclusion that both games would be close encounters, and this proved to be oh so correct though the victories went to the lower (world) ranked nations.
Spain 25-24 Sweden
Spain won this by opening up a two goal lead with about a minute to go, though Sweden did get the last goal of the game. Nely Alberto and Marta Mangue top scored for Spain with six goals each, while Hanna Fogelstrom scored five for Sweden. Spain's victory was in no small park helped by their goalkeeper Silvia Navarro who made fourteen saves during the match.
Denmark 22-23 Norway
This all Scandinavian affair saw Norway beat Denmark with a winning goal with just two seconds left. The game was nip and tuck throughout with Ann Norgaard scoring nine goals for the Danes and Heidi Loke top scoring for Norway with six. The winning goal came from Karoline Breivang.
Summing up, my impression of the sport is one that is really entertaining with it being fast paced and physical. I would happily pay to watch this again and I cannot understand why this sport has never taken off in this country. In fact handball is now one of my favourite sports and comes very close a second behind football.
Admission: £50 each
As you can imagine the queues to get back to Stratford International for the Javelin service back to St. Pancras were large, but the staff had everything organised properly. It all ran smoothly and efficiently and we were back @ St. Pancras in plenty of time before our scheduled departure back to Leicester at 0045.
Before and during the early part of the games there have been plenty of scaremongering and predicted transport chaos, but the reality was very much different. The image that will be portrayed about London in relation to the games itself and the transport is a very positive one that can only enhance the city and country as a whole. A final note should be to the staff at the games who were all well trained, knowledgeable, polite and very friendly.
A day that we as a couple will never forget and we are so glad that we managed to get tickets so something that will never be experienced again.
More photos of the Olympic Park in general can be viewed in the slideshow below:
...and photos of the Copper Box Arena are below: